David Trott1 Julian Williams has some interesting (albeit not very insightful) thoughts in his Nokia’s marketing masterstroke:
Nokia launched the Nokia Lumia 920 recently. Before it was available to buy.
Their share price went down. They couldn’t even give firm delivery dates and carrier details.
But they knew what they were doing.
I agree that “they knew what they were doing”, providing that’s the only thing they could do given the mess they are in. But that’s not marketing brilliance worth praising, that’s desperation. Essentially a drowning company desperately reaching out for tactics they otherwise wouldn’t contemplate. I would hardly describe that as “out-appleing Apple”.
Nokia has put itself in the position, whereby for the coming few months “wait” is all they can sell. Now that the iPhone 5 is out, Nokia can’t really say out loud how good or different their products are, because the new Lumias simply don’t yet exist. They’ve got absolutely nothing to fight with.
More importantly though, by pre-announcing the Lumia 920 they hit the brakes on their current handset sales. They will lose the revenue sales over this launch-to-release period.
Then came the iPhone 5 launch a day ago. And every technical specification was compared to the latest phone launches. Because Nokia launched first, it became the phone of choice for comparison.
And what happened? All the journalists from around the world pulled on the Nokia 920 as a benchmark.
It won on every technical point.
And Nokia are now getting marketed via Apple. For free.
Because the journalists couldn’t get away from the fact the Nokia Lumia 920 is a better, more powerful, more innovative phone.
As I said previously, this is definitely not a free ride, and let’s hope this doesn’t cost Nokia more than revenue.
I agree that most journalists will focus on the stand-out features. After all, what else can they do when they haven’t used the actual product? I’m sure Nokia got some buzz because of that. But should this desire for media attention decide what features a product should have? Is ticking a few extra boxes with journalists a real win for Nokia?
Here’s the real world test to see if a particular feature should be implemented: a feature 1) must be used, and 2) must be valued.
This makes me think that Nokia really believes that NFC will be quickly adopted by the masses. But is NFC a real problem worth solving right now?
As for wireless charging, I must admit, when I first saw the video I was intrigued. But when I started thinking about possible scenarios of how and where I use my charger cables and docks, I’m really not convinced. I think it’s a cool feature, but in terms of the actual every day usage, my guess is that Nokia charging pads will be gathering dust after the first few weeks.
Then there’s the performance. I don’t know how high the new Lumia 920 will rank on the performance charts (and neither does
David Trott Julian Williams), but judging by its predecessor the Lumia 900 (only released about 6 months ago), the outlook isn’t all that promising.
Again, I really can’t see how Nokia deserves praise here. Burning energy, wasting time on the features that play well with the media, but people won’t use or appreciate is not a good thing when the clock is ticking.
I really think that Nokia is a brilliant and iconic brand of our times, and it’s a crying shame that it’s fading away. But what gets me the most is that it’s fading away on its own command. Can you imagine what they could achieve if they stopped wasting time on stupid things?
So, through a masterstroke of predatory thinking, Nokia has won the first round in this heavyweight smartphone brawl.
Not only in the eyes of the journalists. But in those of iPhone users too.
And that’s a bullseye!
I’m not going comment on what makes an iPhone user look elsewhere, but it seems to me that the first round, in every way possible, goes to Apple. After all, what is marketing without real results?
Lastly, I don’t really know what “Predatory Thinking” is, but I do know what “out-apple Apple” isn’t. Nokia has a long way to go to make a dent.